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Re: tc-list UBS4 & NRSV on Jn 1:18

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  • Joseph Crea
    Hello Jeff! ... CREA Actually, the NRSV is pretty much in conformity with the majority of recent translations which claim to base themselves on UBS^3 and UBS^4
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 2, 1999
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      Hello Jeff!

      At 04:02 PM 11/2/99 -0800, you wrote:
      >Does anyone know why the NRSV committee chose to include "son" in Jn 1:18
      >instead of going with the UBS4 decision (rated B) to omit "son"?
      >
      >The preface to the NRSV does state, "Only in very rare instances have we
      >[i.e., the NRSV committee] replaced the text or the punctuation of the
      >Bible Societies' edition by an alternative that seemed to us to be
      >superior."
      >
      >It seems somewhat odd to me that the NRSV would make a change to a
      >B-rated reading in UBS4. Yes, I am familiar with the difficulties of
      >translating 1:18 without "son" but that doesn't justify overturning
      >textual evidence.


      CREA
      Actually, the NRSV is pretty much in conformity with the majority of
      recent translations which claim to base themselves on UBS^3 and UBS^4 --
      NAB, REB, NIV, TEV, CEV as well as the "God's Word" translation (just to
      name versions in my own library) all include some sort of "son" language at
      John 1:18. The note found in my copy of the NAB (with study helps)
      explains their choice of language as follows (italics shown by inclosure in
      angled brackets < >):


      "<The only Son, God>: while the vast majority of later textual
      witnesses have another reading, "the Son, the only one", or "the
      only Son", the translation above follows the best and earliest
      manuscripts, <monogEnes theos>, but takes the first term to mean
      not just "Only One", but to include a filial relationship with
      the Father, as at Luke 9:38 ("only child") or Heb. 11:17 ("only
      son") and as translated at John 1:14. The Logos is thus "only
      Son" and God, but not Father/God."


      CREA
      Hope that this helps.


      With Mettaa,

      Joseph Crea
      <Joseph.Crea@...>
    • Maurice A. Robinson
      On Tue, 2 Nov 1999 16:02:23 -0800 ... [snip] The real problem with the NRSV (or NAB as Dykes noted) is that their rendering God the only Son is a
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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        On Tue, 2 Nov 1999 16:02:23 -0800
        <tc-list-owner@...> writes:

        >Does anyone know why the NRSV committee chose to include "son" in Jn
        >1:18
        [snip]


        The real problem with the NRSV (or NAB as Dykes noted) is that their
        rendering "God the only Son" is a deliberately-conflated reading which
        has no Greek MS support. Perhaps this was a compromise to satisfy
        conflicting views on the NRSV committee or was considered to be an
        interpretative necessity?

        The NAB note quoted by Crea, ("the translation above follows the best and
        earliest manuscripts, <monogEnes theos>, but takes the first term to
        mean not just "Only One", but to include a filial relationship with the
        Father"), is, I suspect, an inadequate attempt to justify the otherwise
        unsupported conflation and to have the best of both worlds. I would note
        that the claim of the NAB editors in this note runs contrary to that
        stated by Frederick C. Grant, "'Only-Begotten' -- A Footnote to the R .S.
        V.", _Bible Translator_ 17 (1966) 11-14, where on p. 12 Grant
        specifically states that "in ordinary use _monogenes_ did not carry any
        more weight than _monos_, 'only'", referencing Moulton-Milligan, p. 416f.
        The matter of "Son" or any filial relation would still need to be stated
        following such a descriptive, as Grant demonstrates from NT, LXX, and
        extra-biblical usage.

        >Yes, I am familiar with the difficulties of translating 1:18 without
        "son" but that >doesn't justify overturning textual evidence.

        Preference for the reading "Son" is not exactly "overturning textual
        evidence," but merely making a different choice based on application of
        different principles to the same evidence. As I recall, Ehrman argues
        specifically for the originality of the Byzantine reading "Son" in this
        location, on the supposition that the Alexandrian reading of "God" was an
        "orthodox corruption" (this differs from Dykes' claim, so please correct
        me if I am wrong -- I don't have Bart's book close at hand, but I thought
        he argued for the originality of UIOS as opposed to the bare MONOGENHS as
        the original reading).


        ==============================================
        Maurice A. Robinson
        Professor of NT and Greek
        Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
        Wake Forest, North Carolina

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      • Bill Combs
        ... I have not followed this thread closely, but I wonder if God the only Son is simply the way the NRSV translators felt that MONOGENHS QEOS should be
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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          > From: "Maurice A. Robinson" <seventh.guardian@...>
          > Reply-To: tc-list@...
          > Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999 12:52:01 EST
          > To: tc-list@...
          > Subject: Re: tc-list UBS4 & NRSV on Jn 1:18
          >
          > The real problem with the NRSV (or NAB as Dykes noted) is that their
          > rendering "God the only Son" is a deliberately-conflated reading which
          > has no Greek MS support. Perhaps this was a compromise to satisfy
          > conflicting views on the NRSV committee or was considered to be an
          > interpretative necessity?

          I have not followed this thread closely, but I wonder if "God the only Son"
          is simply the way the NRSV translators felt that MONOGENHS QEOS should be
          translated and thus this is not a textual issue at all. There is an article
          by Fennema, "John 1:18: 'God the Only Son'"(NTS 31 [January 1985]: 124­35),
          where this translation is argued as being the correct one.
          --
          Bill Combs
          Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
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